F-15s making noise at Armstrong

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 4, 2010



KENNER – Residents in parts of St. Charles and Jefferson parishes will have the opportunity this summer to witness flight-training exercises by the Louisiana Air National Guard, according to a National Guard release.

F-15 jets of the 159th Fighter Wing normally stationed out of Belle Chasse will operate on airstrips at Armstrong International Airport while the runway at the Belle Chasse Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve undergoes a $14.9 million renovation project, said public affairs officer Capt. Beverly G. Couto.

Couto said the agreement between Armstrong International, Signature Aviation and the 159th Fighter Wing, which began April 22 and runs until Aug. 19, will give the Guard unit a safe and convenient location to launch their training missions while their runway is unavailable.

“The F-15’s are expected to conduct their training missions almost exclusively during daylight hours,” Couto said. “The missions are usually scheduled Tuesdays through Fridays.”

While the fighter jets are louder than jetliners, Couto said the fighter pilots will be able to make adjustments in their use of afterburners to minimize the noise. The F-15s are not expected to interrupt normal operations at the airport.

“We appreciate the thoughtfulness they are showing to our surrounding community by taking the action necessary to minimize the potential sound impact,” said Daniel F. Packer, NOAB chairman. “However, when we hear their aircraft, we are reminded that this is also the sound of freedom.”